Oddly, when it comes to debating the worst of the year, this was the more contentious list amongst the GEEK staff. It was pretty obvious what was good this year but amongst the bad? Infinite levels of suck bring about much debate. The whys and wherefores of how badly one movie truly deserves recognition for its awful qualities are one to argue for the length of time, but here at GEEK it was settled thusly: Worst is best defined as most disappointing relative to expected quality. So a movie might be the worst because everyone thought it’d be good, even if it is technically better produced than a lower budgeted, yet better-received film. Technical quality is ultimately irrelevant since these are all our opinions anyway. The other kind of film we picked is just the plain old’ obvious stinkers. The ones that are a slog to get through and have you leaving the theater feeling you wasted 2-3 hours of your life including trailers. Some psychopath may think that Thor: Ragnarok is the worst possible movie made this year, and he’d be wrong, but that psychopath is entitled to his inane opinions on superhero films!
Now on to the GEEK staff’s list of non-psychopathic choices for WORST movies of the year!
5.) Death Note
Sometimes the worst thing is when a movie doesn’t quite suck all the way but does so just enough to make it even worse than if it had been entirely bad, to begin with. Death Note hurt because it was almost there, which I found surprising in and of itself. I fully expected to hate this whitewashed version of a story I’d loved as a manga for a long time, but instead truly enjoyed the new versions of its characterization of L and Mr. Watari. Other characters… not so much. It’s the loss of potential that stings ultimately, because Willem Dafoe isn’t bad as Ryuk, and there are certain production elements of Death Note that work really well. It’s unfortunately sandwiched between a bunch of poorly plotted, gratingly written, over-directed, cliched, sexist, tripe that drags down the tiny morsels of goodness floating in it, to sink into its murky wake.
4.) Transformers: The Last Knight
Woof. I’ll let GEEK’s own Stephen Sanchez take this one:
So you’d think by now I would know better when it comes to Transformers movies. They’re on number five now and there are more entries I hate than I enjoyed at this point, but I’m always hopeful. Trick me four times and shame on me. For a movie about Transformers, it sure as hell didn’t have a whole lot of Optimus Prime in it. The movie started off slightly promising, the one stand-out scene being where Megatron bargains to have a crew of convict Decepticons released to him. However, things quickly went downhill from there. I realized that Bay didn’t learn from the dumpster fire that was Age of Extinction and just takes something awesome like the Dinobots and pisses all over it by making it not look anything like what it did in the original cartoon. In the Last Knight‘s case, it was Unicron who was on Earth, or in the Earth? Who actually knows because after another bloated runtime and a barrage of terrible human one-liners by an anemic cast– I had already checked out. Aside from Laura Haddock I can’t think of a single other thing that I enjoyed about The Last Knight and the disappointment it caused me this Summer.
3.) The Emoji Movie
This one is best summed up by GEEK’s resident indie film snob, Josef Rodriguez aka Lil’ Joey.
As a consummate fan of conceptual films, pre-allegation TJ Miller, and animated farces, I had high hopes for The Emoji Movie. Where some saw a hollow, remorseless, cash grab of a film, I thought a chance for robust, deeply leveled social satire could be at hand. There’s something to the idea of making a movie about the denizens of our pocket devices, and the myriad of possible adventures within the worlds we so easily manipulate without thinking. The unfortunate reality is that this movie was exactly what everyone feared it would be, and worse. Beyond soulless, beyond irredeemably unfunny, what’s left is just a blatantly obvious hodgepodge of ideas crafted for one purpose only, to make money without licencing a new intellectual property. It’s the definition of a for-profit only exploitation of the cinematic arts, and honestly personally, it just makes me feel bad for the writers and animators who probably tried really hard to make this good. Sometimes, there’s no polishing a turd.
2.) The Mummy
At the beginning of the year, there was a lot of hype around this movie being bad, and to be honest, it didn’t disappoint. There are some skeletal remains of the Brendan Fraser remake, but mostly what you’ve got here is a classic case of a movie studio counting its chickens before they hatched. You don’t plan cinematic universes unless you’re sure you’ve got a tentpole film to secure the whole franchise. That seems like an obvious point to make, but the folks at Universal plowed ahead anyway without checking to see if the foundation for their planned Dark Universe series of films had any legs. Now we’ve been gifted/cursed with the single most slapstick, hilariously bad Mummy movie ever made, with full-on video game uppercuts and of course, the titular “sexy mummy.” Did I forget to mention they tried to make THE MUMMY sexy? Because they did, and it’s never sexy, and so ill-conceived it just leaves me wondering what the hell they were thinking? They made you look at that Mummy’s butt just a few too many times to not be intentional. When I think about it, there’s no better way to summarize my thoughts on this film than my review, so I’ll just quote myself here:
“Try to not look at The Mummy’s bandaged butt in one of the many scenes where she’s killing dudes by straddling them and sucking their souls out of their mouths. Just try to not peek at that sexy mummified bubble butt. That Tutankhamun badonkadonk. That BANDAGE BOOTY.”
1.) Alien: Covenant
This is the one that hurt, the movie out of the year for me, and for most here at GEEK. All of us here are fans of Ridley Scott, the Alien Franchise, and some of us even defended Prometheus once or twice, so believe you me when I say that the entire staff was looking forward to this one, and its disappointment is reflected by its rating here. Everyone wanted to love this movie, and really when it came down to it, we all hated this movie, it just depended on how badly you hated it due to what you expected, and especially after what was received. Even now with time to reflect on film as a whole and as a part of the Alien franchise, it’s still a contrived, frustrating, plot-hole laden, disappointing slasher movie that consistently broke its own internal rule systems in the name of surprising an audience that wasn’t there. Nobody wanted to see Covenant to watch a bizarre Milton-esque satan parable about a psychotic robot developing a biological weapon, and that inane story being the now canon explanation for one of cinema’s most enigmatic onscreen villains was beyond disappointing. An unnecessary sequel/prequel if there ever was one, Covenant does the worst thing a sequel/prequel can do, not only does it fail to stand up on its own merits but actively drags down other works with it, bringing them to it’s sophomoric, clumsy, cliched, hackneyed level of incompetence.
Bright – A middle of the road, cliche-ridden shlock film dressed up in genre clothing, with a bevy of scenes you’ve seen before in every single cop and action movie ever made, only with fantasy elements this time. While personally, I enjoyed it, its mediocre to mixed response with Geek staff was impossible to ignore. For a 90 million dollar Netflix movie, the budget isn’t really popping onscreen, so I can only hope the next film they drop nearly $100,000,000 on actually looks like it.
The Babysitter – Netflix might be taking chances on producing original scripts by newer voices in the industry, but if they keep ending up being annoying, over-directed, over-produced, under-written, pandering, obnoxious quip-a-thons then they maybe should save some of that money and focus on returning subscription prices back down to $8.99 for everyone again.
Images: Universal, Paramount Pictures,
Netflix, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox